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Title: Juvenile delinquency : contemporary analogies and Victorian parallels
Author: Abbott, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3388 8905
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2004
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Since the 1840s, juvenile delinquency has been identified as a major social 'problem'. This thesis will aim to explore change and continuity in public/popular attitudes towards juvenile delinquency. Two periods have been identified: 1840-1880 and 1975-2000. Both are characterised by social panic over levels of juvenile delinquency. In addition, it was during the 1840-1880 period that a distinction was first realised in legislation between juveniles and other adult offenders, for example the Juvenile Offenders Act 1847; an issue that has again reappeared as a serious consideration in the late twentieth century. The phraseology of juvenile delinquency appears regularly in both serious and popular writing from the mid-nineteenth century, leading all too frequently, to the idea that juvenile delinquency is an immutable concept. This research will aim to examine and challenge such assumptions, focusing on the Victorian period, where the concept initially evolved to promote comparable interpretations within the current era. 'Juvenile delinquency' evokes issues of youthful, societal dysfunction and even criminality. As a result, it is a concept that involves encounters with social and legal authority. Such authority is exercised using the justifications of, amongst others, the religious and secular moral codes of the period. The late twentieth century witnesses the continuation of such legislation. It must thus be questioned how far such legislation is a product of contemporary attitudes and how effective these controls are. This can lead to the conclusion that the operation of authority in relation to juvenile delinquency is always subject to modification over time, therefore implying that the creation of the concept of juvenile delinquency is a subjective concept of societal perception at any given period. By comparing the two time periods of 1840-1880 and 1975 to 2000, it will become possible to comprehend better the nature of the 'problem' juvenile delinquency can create for both society and the delinquents themselves.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available